Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dr. Strangemath or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Paint the Stripes

Dave hijacked the blog for a little bit! Here he is in his own words explaining those fun kitchen stripes and the math behind 'em! : )

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Here is how I came up with the math to paint the stripes on our kitchen wall. I’m sure there is a much easier, more efficient way to do this but I teach history and not math. As a result, I am much better at looking at what someone else did and saying why it worked or failed.

My first step was to figure out how high the wall is (in this case it is about 92 inches). The next step can go one of two ways:

1. how thick do you want each of the stripes or

2. how many stripes do you want on the wall.

In our case, we (by we, I mean the brains behind the operation: Joi) wanted to have an odd number of stripes so that the white on both the ceiling and baseboads didn't clash with the stripes. 5 stripes would have given us about 18" tall stripes and 7 stripes would cut that down just below 13" tall.

For our wall, 13" stripes looked much better than 18" {which Joi though were too tall}.

Now, I am not good at reading the marks on a tape measure so I decided that our wall is now 91 inches so that the 7 stripes are right at 13".

From here, I measured down from the ceiling 13 inches right at the door frame (cheating a little on the top and the bottom stripes for that extra 1" or so) and made marks. I then moved to the left 10 or so inches and repeated the process. I used a level to make sure that each line was going to be level. For the stripes in the middle, I was more concerned with each mark being level to itself and not so much level from the ceiling. Luckily, our wall, ceiling, and floor appear to be pretty level. I went through and connected all of the dots giving us our lines.

We then used painter's tape to make notes reminding us which stripes were going to be painted and which stripes were not going to be painted. The lines were taped off with frog tape to make sure the "bleed through" was very little. Joi, who has much steadier hands than I, taped off the lines right on the lines that I had drawn. This, as well as the connecting the lines, proved to be difficult because the walls were dark and it was difficult to see the pencil marks in some spots.

After the lines were taped off, it was time for Joi to put her painting skills to work and paint inside the tape, which she did magnificently.

As I said, I'm sure there are many more effective and mathematical ways to do this, but this is a similar strategy I used to draw out the chevron pattern (never in my life did I think I would know what that means, I used to call it the "Charlie Brown Shirt Pattern"...ahhh the good ol' days) for the curtains in the office. Both projects appear to be successful so I must be doing something right.

Enjoy and good luck!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always call it the Charlie Brown shirt pattern myself...I am very proud of you for knowing it's a Chevron pattern!
Great job on the stripes-I knew Joi kept you around for a reason ;)
melissa

NotAppealing said...

Lol, just had to say I love the title of this post. The stripes look great!

Megan Elizabeth said...

Thanks for posting about how you did it! Math isn't my thing either so this was really helpful.

My boyfriend is just as shocked at his design knowledge. He knows all about Chevron, Chinoiserie and even lucite!

Mr. Goodwill Hunting said...

I did the stripes on a smaller scale. Some thought it was fabric, but it was in fact taping and painting. I followed steps similar to yours (Dave) and it turned out ok with no touch ups. If I had a wall to paint, it would b the same deal.

Thanks for sharing
http://g-w-hunting.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. We did our stripes late yesterday and they look good -yay!!

Deb

Wallpaper said...

Great job the stripes look great!

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